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  This module is a resource for lecturers  

 

Case studies

 

Case study one

Before presenting the case (it can be distributed, read, or projected), ask students to go through the case by paying particular attention to the following questions.

  • What happened?
  • What type of damage did the victim(s) suffer?
  • What needs the victim(s) might have?
  • What are the victims' rights?
  • What would be the best approach to ensuring justice for these victim(s)?

Allie and Mike are both in their mid-seventies. They are both retired, and since their children grew up and left, besides being grandparents, they look after themselves, travel, spend time in the community, and engaged with various hobbies. Mike had a hip replacement a few years ago and has some issue in walking; Allie has high blood pressure and is on heart medication. They have been together for 45 years.

One night while returning from a concert performance, Allie was taking the keys from her bag, they were approached by two young men who distracted them by asking for directions. They seemed lost and were very gentle to the couple, apologizing. After spending a few seconds in exchanging information, one of the two young men, grabbed Allie's bag, where she had her purse, keys, her mobile and some photos and small objects, while the other young men hit Mike on his head, took his wallet and left him unconscious on the ground. Allie, in total shock, started shouting and asking for help. She did not have the phone anymore, and as much as she was shaking could not even shout; eventually, after ten minutes, someone called an ambulance and then the police arrived.

They were both brought the hospital where Mile spent five days 'under observation' due to a mild concussion. When home, he could not stand on his own feet, as he was always dizzy and losing balance. Consequently, one of their sons moved in, and they also had to have some professional assistance.

One of the two young men were arrested three days after the attack thanks to some cameras positioned in a nearby bank. He pleaded guilty, saying that he was under the effects of drug and alcohol and did not have the means to pay back any of the costs or damages.

 

Case study two

Before presenting the case (it can be distributed, read, or projected), ask students to go through the case by paying particular attention to the following questions.

  • What happened?
  • What type of damage did the victim(s) suffer?
  • What needs the victim(s) might have and have had?
  • What was done wrong concerning justice for victims?
  • What was the role of the victim in the courtroom?
  • What was the purpose of the impact statement and had it helped the victim?
  • How would you address the victims' need for security under the United Nations standards and norms?
  • What lessons for a Justice for Victims could be learned from this case?

Brunel is a 25-year-old man who moved into a new town to start his new job. Upon his arrival he did not know anyone in this town. He started to go to the gym, attend some cultural events and go to piano lessons. One evening, while ordering a beer at a bar, he was approached by a group of men and women who asked his name, where he came from, and why he was sitting all alone in a bar.

While introducing himself, Brunel who had declined the invitations from two girls in the bar was questioned about his masculinity by the other men in the group. They asked him what was wrong with him, and whether he was ill, not wanting to go with the girls. Brunel felt uncomfortable but did not want to be rude and did not pay much attention to what had happened.

A few days later, Brunel was brutally attacked by an unidentified group of people who hit him, urinated in his face, and kicked him in his genitals.

Several months after the attack, and after many visits to the hospital, doctors, psychologist, psychiatrist, he was told he had to go to court to testify to provide all details about what had happened.

Brunel was allowed to provide a statement (VIS) about how the events had impacted his life and how he was coping. The statements he provided were so full of details of the devastating effects that the defence lawyer even said, that it was enough and that the jury could read the statement without having Brunel having to appear to read his statement. Brunel said he wanted and needed to give the full story, but the judge decided that a three-minute statement would be sufficient. 

Brunel decided to drop the civil case he had initiated to seek some form of compensation for the costs he had incurred (and those that he still had to face). After two months he attempted to commit suicide, and he is still receiving psychiatric treatment.

 
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